Monsters vs Aliens – 3D (2009) PG 94min
April 13th, 2009 by Maxim · 1 Comment · 14,145 Views
“Monsters vs Aliens” is a new 3D animated feature from DreamWorks Animation. Directed by Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon, written by Maya Forbes, Wallace Wolodarsky, Rob Letterman, Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger.
The plot: Susan (Reese Witherspoon) was about to get married to n aspiring TV anchor Derek Dietl (Paul Rudd) when a meteor fell to Earth and the substance within it transformed Susan into a monster. From then on she was a property of U.S. Government. Her new name shall be Ginormica. The facility in “Area 51″ where Susan is held, also is a home (and a prison) for other monsters that General W.R. Monger (Keifer Sutherland) is in charge of: a jello-bodied B.O.B. (Seth Rogen), Dr. Cockroach (Hugh Laurie), The Missing Link (Will Arnett) and a gigantic bug (whose name I don’t remember). They all feel like prisoners there, but soon they are released when the President (Steven Colbert) needs their help against an upcoming invasion of alien robots and clones seeking the material from the meteor – the best known source of energy in the universe.
The good: This movie looks exceptionally good in 3D. It’s not one of those 3D movies where things jump out from the screen at you. The monsters are lovable and each one, as expected, has it’s own goof. Good story. Kids loved the humor in the movie and adults too laughed out-loud. Great animation.
There were hilarious references to other movies about monsters and aliens, such as President playing “Axel F” tune on the synthesizer – a tune from the “Beverly Hills Cop”, which, by the way is composed by the same composer – Hans Zimmer (a brilliant composer who wrote music for some many movies over the past 25 years), but even funnier was the tune that he tried to play in the beginning – from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” – a tune that everyone in the theater recognized immediately! Another obvious reference to monster/horror movies was the explanation of how Dr. Cockroach came to be – same way as the handsome scientist got transformed in “The Fly”. Did you notice that one of the General W.R. Monger’s decorations was a Shrek pin! Clearly Steven Colbert and his Comedy Central buddy Ed Helms had an influence in the screenplay: one of the secret service agents referred to the President a “Papa Bear” – this is how Stephen Colbert refers to Bill O’Reilly. The war room was a lot like in Dr. Strangelove. I’m sure there were other gags that I missed. Can you find them?
The F-14 Tomcats and Apache helicopters were also exciting to watch in action. There was also the famous Guppy aircraft used by NASA to transport space shuttles. Don’t know if anyone noticed, but B.O.B. had not only the voice of Seth Rogen, but also his body language. BOB was the most fascinating monster of all because he was… dumb. The view from space was awesome, thanks to 3D.
More jokes during closing credits.
The bad: Didn’t care about the back-story. That Derek character is useless to the plot. Many jokes would be over the kids’ heads.
The summary: a pretty clever, but predictable story designed to please the kids with a few gags to satisfy their parents too. Looks great in 3D. I’m pretty sure small kids will not appreciate the references to other monster/horror/disaster movies, but there’s plenty of pleasing visuals and jokes, and the length of the movie is just right to keep their attention. But without 3D this movie will likely fall flat on its face (he he see what I did there?)
The cast: Susan Murphy / Ginormica – Reese Witherspoon | B.O.B. – Seth Rogen | Dr. Cockroach Ph.D. - Hugh Laurie | The Missing Link - Will Arnett | General W.R. Monger – Kiefer Sutherland | Gallaxhar – Rainn Wilson | President Hathaway – Stephen Colbert | Derek Dietl – Paul Rudd | Katie – Renée Zellweger
The crew: Director – Rob Letterman, Conrad Vernon | Original Story – Rob Letterman, Conrad Vernon | Writers – Maya Forbes, Wallace Wolodarsky, Rob Letterman, Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger | Producers – Jill Hopper, Latifa Ouaou, Lisa Stewart | Original Music – Henry Jackman | DreamWorks Animation
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